What evokes a ladylike image more readily than Nina Ricci? A scarlet-feverish runway set a passionate tone. Actually, it was the most elegant runway ever seen by moi and on each side, Katia and Marielle Labèque performed “Two Movements for Two Pianos” by Philip Glass. Each musician was posed at a grand piano in the middle of the stage as hip-swaying models drifted by in beat with the notes.
Peter Copping is a master at creating clothes coveted by ladies who not only lunch but work, travel, and play (and apparently, all we need to wear is a fabulous coat and leotard underneath while doing each and everything). Inspired by the ballerina, ribbed warm-up headbands, set delicately over models’ ears, made the cropped mock turtlenecks that beg for monochrome layering and capelet-style boleros all the more glamorous. Fur-trimmed parkas offer a sportier vibe, while slim-cut trousers paired with lush knits makes for sportswear at its most luxuriant. It’s not an easy combination to pull off, but Copping manages the mixes with a measured balance. Yes, there are touches of mink and enough girlish feathers and frills to go around, but expect no overkill at Nina Ricci. The familiar ballet-dancer details are in effect, but we’ve traded our tutus in for more refined short flared skirts, a riff on the skater (my favorite shape!). Among the standouts, a brilliant red coat topped with a lush collar, not to mention all the draping, from the portrait collars to the cocktail dresses so chic, they verge on undone. All worn with a large sporty bag, it’s clear: there is a studied sophistication to everything Peter Copping touches.